NFL Preseason Week 3 Picks: August 25th 2012
Indianapolis Colts vs. Washington Redskins
Current line: Washington (-3′/43.5)
Indianapolis visits FedEx Field in Landover, Md., to take on the Washington Redskins on Saturday at 4pmET. The Colts have covered both of their games though they lost to Pittsburgh 26-24 last week on the road. The Skins are coming off falling to Chicago, 33-31 last week on the road. They are 1-1 this preseason. Last year, the Skins beat Indy on the road in preseason, 16-3.
Weather: 83 degrees with a 14% chance of rain.
Indianapolis is coming off a 2-14 SU season, and they were 6-10 ATS and 7-9 Under. Last year, they went 2-2 ATS in the preseason. Chuck Pagano in his his first year as head coach. Washington is coming off a 5-11 SU season, which included going 7-9 ATS and 7-8-1 Under. Mike Shanahan is 47-29 SU, 42-32-1 ATS and 30-38 O/U in preseason with Washington, Denver and Oakland. (All stats are before the preseason).
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Outlook: Robert Griffin III makes his FedEx Field debut in Saturday’s incredibly intriguing preseason encounter with Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts, pitting the top two selections of the 2012 NFL Draft whose careers will be forever linked together against one another.
Luck was tabbed by the Colts to begin the post-Peyton Manning phase after being taken with the No. 1 overall choice of April’s draft, and the highly polished former Stanford star has certainly lived up to his lofty status through Indianapolis’ first two exhibition outings. Luck has completed over 63 percent (26-of-41) of his passes over that span for a total of 363 yards and two touchdowns, and the Colts have scored points on six on the 11 possessions (5 touchdowns, 1 field goal) he’s directed thus far.
The 22-year-old was intercepted twice in Indianapolis’ 26-24 loss at Pittsburgh on Sunday, however, with his first pick of the night returned 49 yards for a touchdown by Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor.
Griffin, who edged out Luck to win the coveted Heisman Trophy during his junior season at Baylor and was taken by Washington with the second overall pick, also had a bit of a rough night this past weekend. The charismatic young quarterback managed just 49 passing yards and was sacked three times while working the first half of Saturday’s 33-31 defeat at Chicago, losing a fumble on one occasion as well.
Fellow rookie Kirk Cousins had a far more productive night under center for Washington, although it came against predominantly Bears’ backups. The fourth- round choice racked up 264 yards and threw for three scores in the second half, completing 18-of-23 attempts along the way.
Aldrick Robinson, attempting to make the Redskins’ roster as a reserve wide receiver, helped his cause by hauling in a 49-yard touchdown pass from Cousins and finishing with 104 yards on six catches.
Cousins’ performance won’t be creating any serious discussion about a quarterback controversy, however, and Griffin was forced to operate against a stout Chicago defense behind an offensive line that was without three starters — right tackle Jammal Brown (hip), left guard Kory Lichtensteiger (knee) and right guard Chris Chester (ankle).
Brown and Lichtensteiger will likely sit out the entire preseason, but Chester is slated to man his regular post during Saturday’s tilt. Fullback Darrel Young, who missed Washington’s first two games with a strained hamstring, is expected back this week as well.
The Redskins continue to have some health concerns at running back, with veteran Tim Hightower (ACL surgery) and 2011 leading rusher Roy Helu (Achilles) yet to see action this preseason. Both players did practice on a limited basis this week, but each remains a question mark to suit up against the Colts.
Their injuries have second-year man Evan Royster, who amassed 20 yards on his two carries in the Chicago game, the favorite to open the regular season atop the depth chart at the position.
Luck will be facing a Washington defense that will be without top pass rusher Brian Orakpo (shoulder) and strong safety Brandon Meriweather (sprained knee), both of whom were forced out of last weekend’s loss. Ironman linebacker London Fletcher will play, however, after sitting out the Redskins’ most recent game due to illness.
The Colts also head to FedEx Field with a few offensive losses, most notably wide receiver Austin Collie. The injury-prone fourth-year pro sustained his fourth concussion in 21 months during the Pittsburgh game and will be surely held out for at least the remainder of the preseason.
Running backs Delone Carter and Mewelde Moore seem likely to be inactive a second straight week with rib injuries, as will right guard Mike McGlynn (ankle). Rookie Vick Ballard saw extended time with Carter and Moore sidelined against the Steelers and led Indianapolis with 34 rushing yards on 10 carries.
Collie’s absence could be offset by the possible return of speedy wide receiver Donnie Avery from a hip problem that’s forced him to miss the first two weeks.
Indianapolis’ headline injury on defense is to inside linebacker Pat Angerer, out for at least another month after fracturing his foot in the team’s victory over St. Louis on Aug. 12. End Cory Redding is doubtful for Saturday’s test with a mild MCL sprain suffered over the weekend.
Key Injuries: Indy: RB Mewelde Moore (ribs) is out. LB Pat Angerer (foot) is out indef. WR Austin Collie (concus) is out indef. DE Robert Mathis (shldr) is ? DE Cory Redding (knee) is out indef. RG Mike McGlynn (high ankle sprain) is out. WR Donnie Avery (hip) is dbtful. Washington: S Brandon Meriweather (knee) is dbtful. LB Brian Orakpo (shldr) is dbtful. G Kory LIchtensteiger (knee) is out indef. RB Tim Hightower (knee) is ? RB Roy Helu (Achilles) is dbtful.
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